Our Story

The Borneo Project brings international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. Protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

In the late 1980s, indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo made world headlines when they staged a series of blockades in resistance to logging companies who were illegally encroaching on their lands. International observers– including The Borneo Project’s founder Joe Lamb– came to bear witness to the gassing and mass arrest of protestors. Upon his return to America in 1991, Joe founded The Borneo Project with the immediate goal of providing support to those fighting to protect their rights and the critically important rainforests of Sarawak.

Since its founding the project has trained dozens of indigenous activists in community mapping, enabling communities to map areas of ancestral land claims and win legal cases and negotiations. We have supported paralegal education and mobile legal aid clinics that have helped over 200 longhouse communities hold off destructive logging and industrial plantations. The Project has coordinated over $500,000 in grants from international sources for community reforestation, organic gardening, territory demarcation, indigenous education, and other village projects.

Mission:

The Borneo Project brings international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. We believe that protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

Goals:

  • To support indigenous-led campaigns to secure legal land rights, and to support actions and activists to preserve indigenous land rights.
  • To support communities acting to preserve and conserve local ecosystems.
  • To support cultural conservation efforts for indigenous and forest-dependent communities in Borneo.
  • To educate the American public about the importance of Borneo, indigenous rights, and the role of forests in climate change and biodiversity conservation.

Read a timeline of the project’s activities here.

Read about our previous campaigns